Today I faced a first hurdle in parenthood that I knew would come… the first lie. No. Not a little “white lie”. Not a half truth.
Big and bold.
Little miss 4 called me to ask if she could open a birthday present she had just had dropped off.
I said no – wait till your birthday.
She then told the housekeeper that I had said yes, and proceeded to open the present.
I arrived home, and found the opened present on the dining table and found the housekeeper putting her to bed.
I asked about the present on the table… and she jumped off the bed and hid.
The housekeeper started giving me excuses – “but she said…” and I simply suggested that the housekeeper take the dogs for a walk and I would talk to little miss 4.
This was a mother moment… not something to delegate for someone else.
Now, I have a feeling that the housekeeper knew she was lying when she said that I had agreed to her opening it, because something doesn’t quite gel… and yet she still said little miss 4 could open the present (call it mother’s intuition) — but that’s something I will need to deal with later.
In any case… back to dealing with the first blatant lie in self-interest from little miss 4.
I understand the lie. I understand the excitement to open the present that had been given into her hands (and I still don’t understand why when they arrived upstairs with the present the housekeeper didn’t immediately put it on top of the fridge with the rest of the presents…).
But the long and the short of it – I had caught her in a blatant lie.
And she didn’t want to talk about it.
She wanted to run and hide!
“Leave me alone!”
Today… for the first time ever… I “saw” and understood Adam & Eve and the “nakedness” and running to hide! Not wanting to “own up” to what had happened. Just wanting to hide from it.
Eventually, she realised this would not go away. And she came out of hiding.
And THEN I got to see “Adam blaming Eve“…
She finally came out of hiding and proceeded to say that it wasn’t true that she had lied (and she really disliked that I would even use the word “lie”).
In fact, little miss 4 then proceeded to tell me that the housekeeper was lying. That she had never told the housekeeper that I had said yes, but rather that she had asked the housekeeper if she could open the present, and the housekeeper had said yes! I.e. that she had omitted to tell the housekeeper she had spoken with me and that she had simply asked and been told she could.
At this stage, I said okay – but you knew when you asked her that I had already said no, and when she told you that you could, shouldn’t you have told her that I had said no and asked her to put the present with the rest of the presents?
Left thinking for a while – but then “someone has to be responsible”. So she turned back to the story about the housekeeper lying.
I decided to play along with this… and ask what the housekeeper’s punishment should be for lying to me in that way. “You need to tell her off.”
Well, as it turned out, the housekeeper comes back from walking the dogs at that precise moment, as we are standing around the table looking at the opened present.
So, taking advantage of the situation – I proceeded to ask the housekeeper why she would allow little miss 4 to open a present when she had heard me on previous days tell Isabella that she needed to wait for her birthday in order to open the ones she had already received. Especially since at Christmas time we had had this very same discussion and the rules had been the same – no presents until Christmas morning!
And the housekeeper proceeds to respond, once again:
But she told me she called you and that you said yes, she could open it.
Hasty exit by little miss four… crying.
She went and hid under my desk.
I don’t want to talk about it!
I just want to be alone!
I decided to retreat a few meters and give her space… and said —
I’m going to give you space to be alone, but we have to talk about this and about the importance of the trust.
We all know – this isn’t about the opened present.
There are two things much more important at stake here:
- my daughter’s relationship with the truth & responsibility
- my relationship with my daughter
She moved to the bed and grabbed her dinosaur stuffed toy. Repeating that she just wanted to be with “Diny” and not me. I backed off a few more meters and made myself small on the ground.
At this stage, little miss 4 is still crying and asks me “who’s responsible?” for her feeling so bad. And for the first time, I had to really tell her “you are“.
Once again… broken hearted… and wanting to hide away with her dinosaur!
So, I went back into silence a few meters away.
All I could think of at the time was my Ho’oponopono practice & mantra:
I love you — I’m sorry — Please forgive me — Thank you
But I somehow felt that “thank you” wasn’t quite appropriate (yet).
So, as I sat on the floor, I started saying it quietly and gently to myself. — Little miss 4 has seen me practice this before. She has said it with me before.–
And I could feel her anger at the very fact that I would choose this moment to use it!
She even expressed it verbally – telling me not to do that.
And so I focused my attention on MY heart… on MY compassion… on my saying “I love you”… and remembering all the moments when it is true. And then I allowed myself to remember all the times that I had EVER told a lie or said a half-truth or acted in self-interest and then been less than forthcoming about the whole truth. And I started to tell myself (as well as her)
I love you
Please forgive me
And as I did so, my tears started to flow… my voice started to crack… as for a moment, I allowed myself to open and accept forgiveness!
Somewhere, in the middle of that — as I asked for forgiveness, a four year old threw herself into my arms crying
I love you
And we cried together.
And I was reminded how much I love this little girl that has been gifted to me to raise and care for.
And so, when the crying was done, we talked about Truth.
One of the things she said was “but I’m not a bad girl”. And so I got a chance to talk about 100% responsibility – that we are totally responsible for each choice we make. We can choose to do go. We can choose to do the wrong thing. We can choose to tell the truth. We can choose to tell a lie.
Her first response was “but you can’t choose to do a bad thing“.
Yes, you can. And sometimes people do.
It doesn’t mean that you should choose. But you can choose. People get to choose.
And the look on her face… as she comprehended. She could choose.
Something that we had never talked about – until today. You are free to choose. But sometimes your choices hurt you or others.
Tonight I got to hold a little girl in my arms as she fell asleep – knowing that we were at peace. That our relationship was exactly where it needed to be. And knowing that Truth was now on the table.
This evening I learned two important lessons:
- the power of compassion & love – of holding the space for the life lesson to be learned without being cruel or hard
- that Ho’oponopono really does work best when we focus it upon ourselves and our sins – what WE have done wrong. The ways that we have acted wrongly in exactly the same way we feel another person is! It’s not really about forgiving them! It’s really about seeing ourselves reflected in that mirror and forgiving it in ourselves!
It’s when I take the log out of my eye,
that I am able to help another take the sty from their own!
If you want more information about the forgiveness & release work that I do and learning how to do this for yourself, please contact me through my site.